Friday, December 29, 2006

Home at last!

Mom & George and Denise met us at the airport yesterday. It was a LONG flight, but the girls were angels. They confiscated a bottle of snake wine from us at the Guangzhou airport. It will be in quarantine there for 30 days if we would like to come get it. Sure!!
Rich brought pizza's to the house and we celebrated Christmas with him, Denise, the kids, mom & George last night.

We are pretty screwed up with jet lag right now, but we'll adjust.
We've done some unpacking and have tried to put away some toys!! They are everywhere!

Alena's not sure about the pets yet. She smiles at them, but doesn't want them to lick her, etc. It's also going to take her awhile to get used to being put down!! She has quite a little temper. Our neighbors must think there's some torture going on!
We would like to thank everyone that has helped us out throughout this journey. Whether it was running an errand, lending an ear, transportation, shopping, providing a meal, etc., we have been so fortunate to have all of you. We couldn't have done it without each and every one of you. We love you.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Yuck, we are packing. We bought another piece of luggage and two carry on's to replace our backpacks. Too much to bring home!! We are even leaving some stuff behind!

We visited an herb, animal, produce market today that we renamed the "Freak Market". Oh my goodness!! What sites to see. I was glad that Sophia didn't catch the dog, gutted and hanging. She has been missing her cat "Charlie" something terrible, so she didn't enjoy seeing all of the caged kitties.

There were plenty of dried starfish, organs, snake skins, live snakes, chickens, snake wine, etc.!! Came back and finished up our shopping and enjoyed a last meal at "Lucy's" restaurant. (Best western food you'll find around here!)

We had a great meal family style at a Chinese restaurant last night in the Victory Hotel with our group, since some people were leaving today.

We are really going to miss everyone~ we had the opportunity to get to know some great people.

We leave here tomorrow morning to fly to Beijing and then we go on straight to JFK from there. We should arrive at JFK at about 1:00PM on Thursday.

Looking forward to being home and seeing everyone. Alena has had three teeth poke through while we've been here. She's doing some fierce teething!!



Monday, December 25, 2006

Counting down!

We are counting the days until we leave to come home! We are really enjoying everything here, but miss everyone and are also looking forward to getting settled and into a routine at home. Those of you at work, I can't tell you how much I miss my Hydrofloss!!

We really liked the budhist temple yesterday. It was beautiful. Fred & Sophia climbed to the top of the temple. The monk pictured with me is the one that performed our ceremony and blessed the babies.
Alena LOVES to eat these little tangerines that are only grown in the Guangdong province here in China. She eats four of them a day. A monk handed her one yesterday while I had her on me in the carrier. About 30 seconds later I felt something dripping. She had peeled it and was just munching away at it!! Too funny. She loves her food. For breakfast today she had watermelon, tangerine, banana, french toast, sweet potato puffs and a green olive!

Pics are from the temple, breakfast and a playdate in the hallway!!



Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Day!!

It's Christmas Day in China!!

There are Christmas trees, lights and Santa Clauses everywhere! Last night on Christmas Eve, it was like Times Square here on Shamian Island. The street was packed with people and it was very lit up!

We had a very nice dinner with our group at a Tai restaurant and then walked around the streets a bit. Sophia even ate duck!

This morning the babies had their medical exams. Miss Alena came in at 19 lbs!! They also had the "red couch" photo taken in their traditional chinese outfits. Alena was not having it unless I was behind her holding her. Sophia also wore a dress and I put her hair up in a bun with a fancy chinese hair ornament. She looked beautiful.

We bought Sophia her own China tea set and jade chopticks set for our Christmas here in China and we purchased gifts to put away for Alena for when she is older.

Enjoy the pics and your messages are awesome. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones. Miss you all.



Christmas Eve in Guangzhou!

We arrived here in beautiful Guangzhou yesterday and have been doing lots of shopping!

We are getting ready now to go to Christmas Eve dinner with our group. Just got the girls into their Christmas dresses.

Merry Christmas everyone and more tomorrow!!



Friday, December 22, 2006

Free day

Today we had a free day. Some of the group toured a museum this morning and some, like us, stayed behind. We needed a day to sleep in and just go to breakfast when we felt like it!!

Then we walked around Nanning for quite a while. We watched some people in a park performing a ceremonial dance while we ate some popcorn. (they coat it with something sweet and seeds~odd but good!)

We had a crowd of about thirty around us a one point. It's intimidating at times, but they mean well. Most of them smiled at us, pinched Alena's cheeks, read the explanation around my neck provided by our guide as to why we have this chinese baby with us, etc..

Put Alena down for a nap and all she did was laugh, blow raspberries, play with her feet, growl, smile, etc.!! She is something else!



Thursday, December 21, 2006

Nap time!

Well, Fred, Sophia & Alena are all napping right now. For us it's 2:00 in the afternoon.
We went on a sight seeing tour of Qingxiushan park today. Very pretty, but I prefer People's Park!
Alena is teething with a vengence right now!! Her poor gums are so swollen and about four teeth are ready to make their debut. She gets some relief with Motrin, but she's definetely uncomfortable at times. She's also a bottomless pit! For breakfast she eats watermelon, congee and one of these little tiny oranges that they have here. Her foster mom sent her with a bag of them and we had to buy some more. For lunch and dinner she eats noodles, congee and an orange. She has also had rice cereal, prunes, eggs and a croissant which she didn't like. She just eats and eats and eats!! (You should see her thighs!!)
Our guide is meeting me at 3:30 to take Alena and I to her finding spot. Fred and Sophia are going to have some alone time together and walk to the market.
Alena was found at the gate of the Kengmei garden which is a gated neighborhood. In her original translation it said Kengmei park and I couldn't find any info on it. I spoke to our guide and she explained it. Evidently it's not far from here at all. Makes you wonder when you see people on the streets if they are a relative.
The people here have been really curious, but friendly. They walk right up to you, take a look, sometimes gather round, sometimes touch the baby, talk to her, us etc.. If they feel the need to they will pull her pant leg down to cover her (they BUNDLE the babies and don't want anything exposed), etc.. For the most part it's been a good experience interacting with them.
Pictures later, my battery just died!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Official & Exhausted!

Sorry I didn't post yesterday! We are sooo tired!

We indeed told the officials yesterday that after the 24 hour "Harmonious Period", that "Yes, we would like to keep her."!! So, the adoption was finalized yesterday and then we also visted the most beautiful park I have ever seen here in Nanning. It's called "People's Park" and it's amazing. So serene. There are people all over excersing, singing, playing instruments, reading, playing games, practicing tai chi, etc.. It's pristine. Sophia has been getting mauled by people wanting their picture taken with her, just wanting to take her picture, picking her up, etc. One woman in the grocery store made us wait while she went to get her boyfriend to see her~ It's the long blonde hair. She was creeped out by it in the beginning, but has gotten used to it. I think she's considering charging a fee for the rest of the adventure!

We went shopping in Walmart today and then went back to People's Park for a couple of hours. We decided to eat Pizza Hut in our room and relax a little tonight.

Alena has pretty much been keeping to her sleeping and eating schedule that her foster mom provided. She did a role reversal yesterday and now will not separate from me. It's hard to get things done. Finally this evening Fred took her on the floor with all of her toys and we just let her cry it out for a few minutes while I did some things and eventually she stopped and played just fine. Let me tell you that she is BUSY!! She doesn't sit still! She cracks people up with her hair and her grin~it's priceless.

Thank you Kohler's for taking great care of our pets and thanks to everyone for your posts. We love reading them. I try to get them published as soon as possible. Keep them coming!

Love to all~


Monday, December 18, 2006


Miss Alena is here and what a character she is!! She looks like a cherub , has the biggest grin and greatest chuckle!

When they brought her in to us she was sound asleep. (The only one~ we are not living it down with some of the group!)

She woke up just before we got on the bus to come back to the hotel. She looked at me, then looked at Fred and reached for him. She layed her head on his shoulder and never looked back. She bonded with him in an instant. He cannot leave her sight. I'm not concerned as the most important thing is that she was able to bond to someone right away and you know i'm next !! LOL

She didn't cry until it was bedtime, she was exhausted and she's teething. She has no teeth yet, but one is ready to poke through. She was laying in her crib chewing on her pacifier. My only concern right now is that we are having no luck with formula. She took one bottle of water at bedtime.

She's still got some crazy hair! It's long and curls into ringlets at the bottom.

Sophia asked that when we go to finalize the adoption today, that we tell them that we would like to keep her! So cute!

Enjoy the pics and love to everyone.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Sophia woke up at 2:00AM with the rest of us. We tried to lay back down at 4:00 AM and she was "not tired". So, we get back up and start getting ready for breakfast. I come out of the bathroom and she is SOUND ASLEEP!!

A few pics are the view from our window here in Nanning at sunrise this morning. The river is also here in Nanning, you can see the house boats on the shore. The others are from the Great Wall in the COLD!!

No Hands But Ours

No Hands But Ours

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."

- Helen Keller

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